It can be daunting to be fresh out of college and already bombarded with conversations about your financial future. Especially coming off what was likely the most fiscally strapped few years of your life thus far, that first professional salary shine wears off quickly once you realize that you need to use it responsibly. However, there are strategies you can employ to both grow your net worth and have a little excitement in your life. The need to focus on the future does not have to totally overpower your desire to use your own money in ways that you want to.
The stock market can be volatile and certainly unpredictable however if you are looking for action, this is the best place to go. You can review a day trading guide for beginners and learn some day trading tactics so that you are not going in blind. Since you are a beginner, and definitely do not want to get in over your head, it is best to have a pre-determined budget for your stock market investments before you get going. This should be a portion of your disposable income each month that you are comfortable in knowing that you might lose every penny. Since growing your net worth over time is your ultimate goal, you definitely do not want to be taking risks with funds that are needed for major things like housing, transportation, and debt repayment.
Employer Retirement Programs
As you are beginning your career you are probably just simply excited to get going, but you need to pay attention to the benefits offered by your employer before you decide where to work. Your career is going to take up a lot of your time, and span many decades, so you should prioritize what you get back from it just as much as what you are giving. Employer retirement programs are a great example of this. When you have a job opportunity with a company that offers you a high salary but no 401k incentives, do not get blinded by the total salary, because working elsewhere where the company matches everything you contribute towards your retirement is going to be worth more overall than that extra money each month from your salary would be on its own.
Especially if you have a high level of student loan debt, paying down your money owed has to be near the top of your financial priorities list. When you are thinking about balancing savings and investing when on a budget, growing your savings is important but paying down your debt is an investment in your financial future. Since this is going to impact the health of your credit score immensely, it is considered an investment, and not just money spent. Your credit score is going to be the foundation for everything down the line in terms of how banks view your money habits. When it comes time to seek out a mortgage, lenders are not going to care if you have $50k in savings but have a terrible credit score and high levels of ignored and unpaid debts.